In my previous thinking about the considerations that go under the
heading of the “expressivist argument,” I have been fascinated
chiefly by two of its features: its (implicit) semantic commitments and
its independence from disputes about the moral standing of fetuses.
Abortions prompted by prenatal testing are undertaken because of
indications that the fetus has physical features that would be configured
as disabilities in the social world into which it would otherwise emerge.
The expressivist argument's allegation, as I have understood it, is
that abortions so motivated convey semantic content—“send a
message”—to people who are currently living with disabilities
that is somehow insulting, hateful, dismissive, or disparaging. It is thus
uncontroversial moral subjects who are wronged, not—or, at least,
not necessarily—the aborted fetuses. So far as this argument goes, a
person might hold strongly pro-choice views about abortion generally and
still object to “selective” abortions.